I’ve been traveling for nearly a decade now, and I’ve never once met anyone whose plan was to get sick, hurt, or scammed on their trip. While you can almost always chuck whatever negative stuff happens to you down to experience, the fact remains that you’d rather avoid it if you could. But with so many unknowns in different destinations, staying safe on the road can seem almost impossible.

However, I’ve learned that certain rules and standard practices apply regardless of where you go. These tips have kept me safe throughout my travels, and I hope they do the same for you, too!

The Best Tips for Staying Safe on the Road in 2024

A couple of the most important things that you can do to ensure a hitch-free trip include:

One: Understand the Most Common Scams in the Destination You’re Headed

I’ve learned that while most of the locals in most locations I visit are usually more than kind and helpful, there are a few of them who would do almost anything to make a quick buck off you. This applies whether you’re visiting Algeria or taking a trip to Thailand. So, one of the first things you should do is research the most common travel scams in your destination location and how to deal with them. I’ve highlighted a few of those here.

Two: Buy (and Understand) Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is one of those things that many travelers tend to end up not needing. But you’d be surprised at how handy it can be! True, no one wants or plans to get sick or robbed when they go on a trip. However, it only takes trying the wrong local cuisine or taking one step wrong and hurting your leg to understand how invaluable this resource can be.

In addition to getting this insurance though, please, please, please, make sure you know what it does and doesn’t cover. Do not make assumptions. Strange as it may seem, some packages will cover different types of sicknesses but not a broken leg, or vice versa. So, make sure you know just what you’re dealing with.

Three: Have a Google Map Handy

You’ll be in a new and possibly very different place. As a result, it’s only to be expected if you get turned around once or twice. My sense of direction could be a lot better. Knowing this, I make a point of saving my accommodation (and as much of my itinerary as I can) on Google Maps. I also add other important destinations like the nearest embassy, pharmacy, and hospital, just in case.

With this in place, I won’t have to worry about getting lost or needing emergency treatment and not knowing where to go.

Four: TMI is a Big “No No!!!”

I get it—you’re dining at a pretty great restaurant and just want to share this wonderful experience with your friends on social media. However, this may not be a smart play, as you could be giving criminals all the information they need to hurt you!

The same thing applies to strangers you meet on your trip. Don’t tell anyone personal stuff like your full name or even if you’re visiting that country for the first time. I know it all probably seems a little extreme, but you really can’t be too careful.

Five: Don’t Keep it All in One Place

No matter how careful you are, mistakes happen. And sometimes, losing that stylish handbag isn’t even a mistake but a setup! Regardless of which is which, you’ll most certainly be in a bind if all your cash and cards were in the wallet that got stolen. To avoid this, consider splitting your stash. Keep some on you while you leave the rest at your hotel.

On a side note, I once had a bank suspend my credit card unexpectedly when I traveled abroad. I’d have been in real trouble if I didn’t have another one. So, if you can get a hold of more than one credit card when you travel, that’ll certainly be great!

And sure, all of this might make the world seem like a dark, dangerous place. But that really isn’t the case. In 8+ years of traveling, I’ve only had a handful of sour experiences. 99% of the time, things go pretty smoothly. It just always pays to be prepared. Following the safety tips I’ve just shared can help downgrade a potentially terrible experience to just an inconvenient one.

If you have other ideas for staying safe while you travel, please don’t hesitate to share them below!